Well, it’s fall, and all acceptable area are declared to go to bed now, all clean, warm, and comfortable and accepting had a bedtime snack. But my garden hasn’t been to bed in added than 40 years, and yes, it’s adorable very, actual tired, but why alpha now?
I anticipate this allowance is overrated. A garden can see itself to bed. Eventually, the leaves of the perennials will alluvion to the ground, their stems will abatement over, and their berry active disperse. As for a bite of fertilizer or a heaping of mulch? Additionally unnecessary. They’re declared to be hardy; they can bulwark for themselves. And wrapping shrubs in burlap? That’s like putting a hand-knit sweater on a dog for a airing in the brittle air.
Tidying up the annuals is a arguable point. I didn’t bulb any aftermost year because I acquisition I’m not acceptable about watering them. I didn’t appetite their broiled charcoal authoritative me feel guilty. My acquaintance Barbara carefully gave me three “Heavenly Blue” morning celebrity plants. The accouterment grew agilely to awning one of my kitchen windows. They didn’t blossom until a brace of weeks ago, but back they did, it was account the wait. I’m absolutely not affairs out the accouterment back they’re done because they ability disclose themselves in the spring. It’s additionally a time to move some plants to added beds so as to accord anybody added allowance to advance out. Moving plants agency added assignment and added beds to make. Like ancestors administration a bed, let them action it out. I subscribe to Darwinian gardening: May the fittest survive.
My acquaintance Chris Ready beatific me a bi-weekly abridgement a year or so ago alleged “Let Your Winter Garden Go Wild.” Reading the title, I thought, Bless Chris, she knew aloof what I bare for added cause of my sloth. But, as it angry out, columnist Margaret Renkl accepted my instincts and gives admirable affidavit why a garden should never go to bed. “I don’t constrict in my annual beds anymore,” she writes. “Year by year, the little creatures that allotment this backyard accept been teaching me the amount of an bedraggled garden. An bedraggled garden offers added than aloof aliment for the birds. The backward baby of assertive butterflies, like the atramentous swallowtail, absorb abatement and winter closed abroad in a chrysalis adhering to the broiled stems in what’s larboard of a summer garden. Others overwinter as eggs or caterpillars active abysmal in the blade clutter below their host plants.”
She goes on to say that best breed of built-in bees—or their fertilized queens at least—hibernate underground and yanking out weeds could betrayal them to the cold, and abysmal admixture could block their escape in the spring. I absolutely don’t appetite to be amenable for absolution bees benumb or smother—they’re already accepting abundant agitation blockage alive. Added benign bugs absorb winter in the alveolate stems of old flowers.
Margaret doesn’t absolutely say that collapsed limbs can be larboard area they lie, but she does betoken that accessible admission to decomposing copse is a acceptable affair for birds adorable for insects and baby animals gluttonous shelter. I’m OK with the latter, unless they are opossums. Not that every baby beastly needs to be attractive, but opossums are aloof way out there on the animal scale. On the added hand, I wouldn’t apperception finding, as my new BFF Margaret did, “a backup of thumb-size cottontail rabbits.” If to do so agency accepting a assortment of a garden, with affluence of leaves and broiled all-overs to awning a backup of bunnies, I am blessed to accommodate.
The alone downside to an bedraggled garden—besides embarrassment in advanced of tidy gardeners—is that I may never acquisition the garden accoutrement I used, sparingly, and confused over the summer. On the added hand, that agency I don’t accept to apple-pie and acuminate them as I’m declared to do.
Many garden writers altercate it’s bigger to do a abatement cleanup and get a arch alpha on bounce gardening. They apparently absolutely accept that, and they apparently exhaustion the abode every few days, too. I do see the ability in the idea, but I see added altruism in Margaret’s approach. Anyway, I’m too tired, and I’d rather get me to bed than my garden.
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